Thursday, October 19, 2006

Biking with your family, how to enjoy cycling with others and build better relations.

Well I haven't written anything in a while, real world came back to bite me in the butt and couldn't get time to update my favorite blog. Now that I can, I'll share with you a bit of my summer, cycling wise.

I've been an avid cyclist for the past 15 years and in the past 2 years, not much was happening. Then this whole blog thing happened and it got me back on track. My family has always been happy to share my passion, especially my kids. I even once managed to coarse my wife to come with me on a mountain bike trail ride! That's when I learned something really important. People that you take with you on rides are not always at the same level that you are. I love my wife and that love grew some more after she fell during that ride. Right there I realised that I took her on a very technical trail that was better suited for an expert rider. She knew that in the first minutes and didn't complain wanting to share in my passion. That day I realised afterwards that she loved me even more than I thought and she gained even more respect and admiration from me.

That lesson being learned at the expense of some bruises to my significant other, I made sure I would never do that same mistake again with my kids. The first rides with my kids were in the neighbourhood and I always let them lead the way. That would prevent me to impose my pace on the ride. My son grew up to be faster and better than me and my daughter has a slower pace since she doesn't ride as much and suffers from asthma.

This summer I took the usual rides with my son, going on nowhere rides, club rides and just spinning around the neighbourhood. My son leads the way now since he is much faster and stronger than I am on the pedals. The old man holds him back! I did show him how to enjoy the view while riding at a slower pace and he did enjoy it very much. Our favorite ride is a 60 km trek to downtown Montreal and the old port district. We even managed to get on the F1 circuit and had the pleasure to go one lap on our bikes at the track. The one cool move of the day was to use the subway system to zoom back downtowm with our rides. This saved us a lot of time and permitted us to cover more ground.

Me and my wife threw the bikes in the minivan and went outside of Montreal to explore little towns at a slower, and much safer, pace. The only preplanned concept of the day was the direction: East. That day was a lot of fun and permitted us to unwind in a very different setting. Exploring small towns on a bike is by far the best way to see them.

My daughter always wanted to do the downtown ride but was afraid she couldn't make it. I told her that this was more than possible and I would gladly take the time to take her. Her eyes lite up at the mere mentionning of this possibility. I had bought her and her mother an electric assist bicycle the summer before and I figured that she could make it on one charge. The fact that I was using my 45 lbs cruiser would force me to slow down from my regular pace and walking up hills instead of hammering them on the bike is becoming quite appealing as I advance in my forties.

We started off smoothly and took a few breaks in parks along the way, enjoying the view and beautiful summer scenery. This also gave us time to share what was happening in our lives as she is now starting to become more of her own person. We laughed, ate food from a Subway that featured personnel with attitude (The food was great mind you), tried on a ton of sunglasses at a stand and even saw some undercover cops busting somebody on the street for something. We made it back home with some juice still left in her electric bike, no bruises or pain and a great father/daughter bonding experience.

When I asked Sarah what was her favorite experience of the summer, she told me that it was a tie between her 2 week musical camp and that one day that we spent together on that bike ride. I guess the lessons to be learned about this is, always match the level of riders that ride with you and never underestimate the value of the time that you spend with your kids.

Until next time, ride safe.


1 comment:

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